A truck is an American English term for a commercial motor vehicle that is commonly used in transporting materials and goods. They can be large and may serve as a platform area for specialized equipment. Generally, all trucks consist of a common construction such as a chassis, a cargo or equipment area, axles, road wheels, suspension, drivetrain, an engine, and a cab. They may also be designed with pneumatic, water, hydraulic, and electrical systems.
The cab of the truck is the enclosed space where the driver is situated and seated. The word is actually short for cabriolet, a two-wheel light horse-drawn vehicle with a covered hood for the occupant and driver, which has been designed and developed in France. Attached to the cab, seen especially in trailers or semi-trailer trucks, is a sleeper, a compartment for the driver to sleep and rest if not driving. Light-duty pickup trucks come in three basic truck cab types: crew cab, extended cab, and regular cab. While heavy-duty commercial trucks feature the following possible cab configurations:
- Flat Nose or Cab Over Engine (COE) wherein the driver sits on top of the engine and the front axle. This is commonly seen in Europe since it suits the tracks and roads in the area. The driver is able to access the engine by tilting the whole cab forward; hence, the name tilt-cab.
- Conventional cabs where the driver seats behind the engine just like in pickup trucks and passenger cars. Conventional cabs are most common in the North America. And there are two types of designs: the long nose or large car and the aerodynamic design. A large car is square shaped and has a long hood, which has a tendency to experience wind resistance and consumption of more fuel. It also offers poor visibility compared to the aerodynamic cabs, which are very streamlined and has a sloped hood design.
- Cab beside an engine does exist but are very rare.
In the middle to the late twentieth century, commercial trucks had to adhere strictly to the U.S. weight and size regulations in keeping its trailers not more than fifty feet long. Because of this, the cab-over-engine trucks became more convenient in the U.S. and have been marketed for them to make better use of its cargo area. The engine is conveniently placed below the cab's floorboards while the driver is positioned and seated slightly behind or just above the front wheels.
The body structure of the cab includes a front panel, a rear panel, two side panels arranged parallel to each other, and a front window. The width of the front and rear panel is almost equal and assembled in a slanting position.
Big commercial trucks that travel the highways for long periods and long distances with more than 26,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight are usually featured with a sleeper cabin with varying sizes. This added feature is in fulfillment of government-mandated rest periods where the driver can sleep in the trucks while on a stopover by the road side.
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